chapter  V
16 Pages

Chapter V

I went with the qadi also to visit the amfr Qutludumur and found him reclining on a silk carpet with his feet covered, as he was suffering from gout, a malady very common among the Turks. He questioned me about his sovereign, and the khatun Bayalun and her father and the city of Constantinople. Then tables were brought in with roasted fowls, cranes, young pigeons, bread baked with butter, biscuits, and sweetmeats, which were followed by other tables with fruit, pomegranates prepared for the table, some of them served in vessels of gold and silver with golden spoons, and others in vessels of glass with wooden spoons,8 and wonderful melons. On our return to the academy, the amfr sent us rice, flour, sheep, butter, spices and loads of wood. The use of charcoal is unknown in all these countries, as also in India and Persia. In China they make fires with stones which burn like charcoal, and when they are burned to ashes they knead these with water, dry them in the sun, and use them for cooking again until they are entirely consumed. One of the habits of the amfr is this. Every day the qadi goes to his audience-hall with his jurisconsults and scribes and sits on a chair placed for him, opposite one of the principal amirs, who is attended by eight other great amfrs and shaykhs of the Turks. The inhabitants bring up their cases for trial, and those which come under the sacred Law are decided by the qadi, and the others by these amirs. Their judgments are sound and equitable, because they are free from suspicion of partiality and do not accept bribes. One Friday, after the service, the qadi said to me "The amir gave instruCtions that you should be given five hundred dirhams and that for another five hundred dirhams a banquet should be

king comes

lands beyond the Oxus. It was destroyed by the accursed Tink{z [Chingiz] the Tatar, the ancestor of the kings of 'Iraq, and all but a few of its mosques, academies, and bazaars are now lying in ruins. Its inhabitants are looked down upon and their evidence (in legal cases] is not accepted in Khwarizm and elsewhere, because of their reputation for fanaticism, falsehood and denial of the truth. There is not one of its inhabitants today who possesses any theological learning or makes any attempt to acquire it.6 We lodged at a hospice in a suburb of Bukhara called Fath Abad. The shaykh entertained me at his house and invited the principal men of the town. We spent a most delightful night there; the Koran-readers recited in pleasing voices, and the preacher delivered an address, and then they sang melodiously in Turkish and Persian.